The imperial court in Constantinople has been central to the outsider’s vision of Byzantium. However, in spite of its fame in literature and scholarship, there have been few attempts to analyze the Byzantine court in its entirety as a phenomenon. The studies in this volume aim to provide a unified composition by presenting Byzantine courtly life in all its interconnected facets.
One important theme that unites these studies is the attention paid to describing the effects of a change in the social makeup of the court during this period and the reflection of these changes in art and architecture. These changes in social composition, mentality, and material culture of the court demonstrate that, as in so many other aspects of Byzantine civilization, the image of permanence and immutability projected by the forms of palace life was more apparent than real. As this new work shows, behind the golden facade of ceremony, rhetoric, and art, there was constant development and renewal.